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Old 08-11-2008, 01:12 PM
 
10 posts, read 30,267 times
Reputation: 14

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I currently rent out a home in the Charleston area. Included in the lease is the standard pay rent by 7th day or face possible eviction. I also include pay rent by 3rd day or be charged a late fee of $25. My tenant says that they are not late because according to the SC Landlord Tenant Act they have until the 5th day. The Landlord Tenant Act ststes, If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days from the date due or the tenant is in violation of Section 27-40-540, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement. I used 7 days in my lease agreement and 3 days for the late fee which late fee is not covered in the Act. Who is right?
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
2,514 posts, read 5,063,392 times
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Please consult a landlord-tenant attorney for an answer to this question and a better explanation of the statue.

To my understanding you can't charge a late penalty until the 5th day after rent is due. So, if the lease states a due date of the 7th, that would make the late penalty/other penalties not applicable until after the 12th. The above isn't legal advice however, just my brief opinion of what you've provided. Consult an attorney if there's a dispute, or question regarding your lease.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:53 PM
 
10 posts, read 30,267 times
Reputation: 14
Maybe I got the explanation backwards..... rent due 1st of month, rent late 3rd of month=late fee, failure to pay rent 7thday=possible eviction. All in lease agreement that both landlord and tenant signed
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
356 posts, read 655,353 times
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to be honest, if these tenants are normally good tenants, clean, pay on time, and this is a one time thing (and they explain a bit of hardship)...why are you giving it so much thought? I'd be happy to have a decent long term tenant and would rather work with them on solving the problem...obviously, if they are having an issue paying the rent on time, then imposing a $25 late fee on top of it would be a further difficulty (I'm not sticking up for them at all - I'm just saying times are tough all over and if they are normally good tenants, maybe you can give them a break?) but - if you want them out, then just serve them with 30 day notice to vacate - eviction is a pain in the neck, and trust me - you start that - then who knows what condition you'll find your place in...it's not worth it for $25, don't you think?
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:43 PM
 
29 posts, read 49,040 times
Reputation: 11
I'm a homeowner; but reading this I agree with Theresejenkins statement; as good tennants are hard to find; so if they have a solid track record; then working with them would be more cost effective than having an empty property which needs an income to sustain the monthly Mortgage Payments; but hey; if you can afford to cover that; then by all means; enforce the $25- and risk loosing a tenant that may be enduring financial difficulties; it would be better you offer them a friendly service of overlooking their tardiness this month; but it's not unreasonable to let them know if they feel they ever find themselves in financial hardship; that you would welcome them coming to chat with you about it; so together you can work towards a common goal; of getting them back on financial track quickly without loosing a good tenant. An open door to communication is the best solution; however, one must not judge them; many are suffering financially at this time; most through no fault of their own. 1 late payment is better than a empty house ....Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Hilton Head Island
9 posts, read 36,916 times
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Yes if they are good tenants move on dont worry about $25 everyone is late once in awhile. I have tenants who i have Never charged a late fee I communicate with them and work with them Happy tenant Happy landlord. And what ever is in the lease that they signed I believe is what terms they agreed to otherwise why have a lease. But if they are decent Move on.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
355 posts, read 1,012,788 times
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I have to agree with everyone else. I've been a renter for a long time, and there have been times I've been late due to being between paychecks, an emergency that came up unexpectedly, my car broke down, my room mate lost her job and I had to cover the rent with 4 days notice....ETC.

Of course the right thing to do would be to call you, but often times the renter does not have the best manners, or maybe they are afraid to get in trouble (especially if you're the kind of person to be upset over $25.)

Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Goose Creek, SC
85 posts, read 250,718 times
Reputation: 66
Have you thought about re-wording your lease agreement for the future?

Quote:
If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days from the date due or the tenant is in violation of Section 27-40-540, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement provided the landlord has given the tenant written notice of nonpayment and his intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within that period.
I see where you are getting confused to me.

Let your resident know that the section they are citing is under "Landlord Remedies." The 5 days that the section is referring to is for Landlord use for when it is permissible to begin eviction proceedings. Let your resident know that it is YOUR discretion on when the late fee is assessed.

Let your resident also know that they did sign a legally binding contract that states when the late fee will be assessed.

Obviously, pick and choose your battles. If you choose to waive the fee this time, make it VERY clear to the resident what your policy is on late fees.

Property management gets old after a while lol. Be sure to check out Welcome to MR LANDLORD for free rental forms, management software, real estate books and landlord advice to better manage and lease rental property. if you don't know about it already. Its a very valuable resource to private landlords.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:34 AM
 
10 posts, read 30,267 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for all the input. My tenant and I seem to be on the same page now. The $25 was never the real issue, paying the rent on time was what I was trying to get across to the tenant. Mailing it on the 3rd or 4th of the month is not on time in my book.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
1,179 posts, read 1,900,496 times
Reputation: 352
Quote:
Originally Posted by mj1atwork View Post
Thanks for all the input. My tenant and I seem to be on the same page now. The $25 was never the real issue, paying the rent on time was what I was trying to get across to the tenant. Mailing it on the 3rd or 4th of the month is not on time in my book.
you really need to ask an attorny, trying to evict or fine tenants in this state can be a veryyy long and expensive journey that may cost you way more than them in the end

it isn't easy or fast to kick someone to the curb here, they may get a yrs worth of free rent and damage your place before it's all over... take the advice of Theresa, be civil and try to work it out
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